The 30th DCF Folk Weekend “Amazing Grace”

DCF (the Down and Connor Folk Group) has been leading music ministry in the Diocese for more than a generation and once again this year there was plenty of evidence that there is a great enthusiasm and desire for new music for Mass and other liturgical celebrations.

More that 150 people attended the residential held on 20th-21st October 2012 at Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre. The theme this year was “Amazing Grace”.

This year, 14 new pieces of music were taught and learned.  Composers included Brendan Dowd, Sarah Hart, Keith Duke, Matt Maher and Robin Mark.  Brendan also taught his Holy Family Mass Setting.

Brendan gave the Faith Development talk on Saturday afternoon on how church musicians can grow in their understanding and appreciation of the importance of music at Mass.  He spoke of how sacred music is a beauty that invites prayer, leads to an encounter with Christ in Holy Communion and must respond to the demands of inculturation.  Advice was given on how to discern the appropriateness of music at Mass or any other liturgy. Three tests have to be passed– pastoral, liturgical and musical.   The importance of involving young people in folk groups was agreed and the opportunities for this were identified through the Pope John Paul II Award.

The beautiful and inspiring paraliturgy on Saturday night was prepared and led by Claire Deane, leader of Clonard Folk Group and was concluded with a blessing from our new Youth Director, Pauline Dowd.   Pauline and Grainne Scullion from Holy Family Folk Group hosted the ever-popular Big Quiz that followed.

Sunday Mass was celebrated by Bishop Donal who outlined the importance of living, sharing and celebrating our faith.   Bishop Donal then developed the theme of creating community through music ministry in his homily and sent us home with a new sense of purpose and resolve.